Customer service

10 Ways To Improve the Efficiency of a Call Center

Enreach 26/04/2022
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Contact center agents have to deal with many problems on a daily basis, which could reduce the quality of customer service, increase the operating cost of the call center, decrease satisfaction in the workplace (whether in the office or at home) by agents and reduce the overall efficiency of the call center.

In this post, we will describe some of the problems that call center agents face in their day to day, as well as what can be done to improve their efficiency.

10 Ways To Improve the Efficiency of a Call Center
1) Continuous Training

Proper training is essential for all contact center agents. All new hires must receive full training when they start on things like: the functionalities of the products or services, how to use the software, or how to access and get the most out of the knowledge base.

More importantly, agents must have continuous training, both to reinforce what they are already doing and to learn the latest features of the products/services handled by the call center. An efficient contact center should use a separate online learning tool if working remotely, or attend regular in-office training with colleagues.

2) Skill-Based Routing

To understand this routing, it is better to explain what it consists of through an example: if a customer calls the contact center to buy a product, the routing system has to transfer the call to the correct department, in this case, the sales department. Skills-based routing can greatly increase First Call Resolution (FCR) and thus improve customer satisfaction.

3) Chat between Agents

When dealing with a complex issue, an agent may find it beneficial to chat with their colleagues. Agent-to-agent chat allows an agent to communicate with a more experienced agent or her supervisor to find a solution to the problem, all while on the phone with the customer. The chat feature can be configured in two ways, either as a one-on-one chat where agent “a” can send a question directly to agent “b” or as a group chat feature where agent can post a question, ask and quickly get an answer. This chat is very useful because it allows an agent to solve the problem instead of having to transfer the call, a situation that causes customer frustration.

4) Better Knowledge

This is perhaps the most important element. To deliver exceptional customer service, call center agents must have access to the right knowledge. Every agent must be able to quickly and easily search through the knowledge bases to find the answer to any question that may be asked. The best way to achieve this is for all agents to have access to a professional knowledge base. A well-maintained knowledge base that gives agents the ability to search for answers to their questions can make all the difference when it comes to customer satisfaction and first-call resolution.

5) Good Communication between Agents and Supervisors

Supervisors are often needed to deal with more angry customers or to help resolve complex issues that the agent was unable to handle. If a customer asks to speak to a supervisor and then has to wait 20 minutes, they will not be happy and will most likely hang up and call back another day, thus increasing inefficiency. Therefore, it is desirable that supervisors be readily available.

6) Agent Autonomy

Call center agents are experts in their respective fields, they know the products/services well, and given autonomy, they will be able to solve most problems intelligently and creatively. By reducing micromanagement, supervisors are freed up to deal with more complex problems or to train new agents. In addition, various studies have shown that employees who are given more autonomy show greater satisfaction and benefit companies, since there are fewer turnovers of workers.

7) Short and Frequent Breaks

A contact center can be a very stressful place, with agents often dealing with dissatisfied customers or dealing with complex issues. Giving agents the freedom to take frequent short breaks, go to the bathroom, grab a coffee… can greatly reduce their stress level. This reduction will positively impact agent productivity, improve employee satisfaction, and have an overall benefit to employee health and well-being.

8) Real-Time Metrics

Real-time metrics such as how many calls are in queue, the status of other agents, wait time and abandon rate can be very useful to call center employees and help them improve their productivity and efficiency. Making this data available to agents is one way to increase contact center productivity.

9) Implement KCS (Knowledge Centered Service)

Knowledge Centered Service, also known as Knowledge Centered Support or KCS, is where support teams not only provide real-time support to the customer, the system, or a colleague, but also they also create and maintain documentation (customer history) as part of the same process.

Ultimately, the KCS becomes a way for people to solve problems and create knowledge as a byproduct of solving them.

10) Improve the Call Center Environment

The work environment can have a huge impact on employee productivity. For this reason, the agent work area should be configured in such a way that you have easy access to everything you need. In addition, they should have adjustable and comfortable furniture so that they can customize their work environment according to their needs. Finally, the office as a whole should be designed to maximize workplace productivity, as an open office, for example, has been shown to increase productivity in most call centers.

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